Through various proclamations, treaties, and removals, we disappeared from the land and into towns and Indian Country and finally reservations. We disappeared in fiction and film, becoming two-dimensional characters, populating shows from the Lone Ranger to the X Files, who either threaten white settlement or, like Tonto, exist only to help the white man. We disappear in songs about land that was made for you but not me. The prevailing story about Indians is about our vanishing, sad but inevitable. That belief has consequences that we will explore in this chapter, because despite the myth of the vanishing Indian, we have not completely disappeared.
Our collective identities remained centered around land that no longer lay beneath our feet but remained in our memories. The land persists, and so do we. We may not have been home, but we knew where home was, and our creation stories tell us how to live in new places. How to sink roots deep into the earth, roots that would find their way home and connect us in ways that are unseen and yet felt.
From “Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future” by Patty Krawec – Broadleaf Books